Read the text below and answer Questions 21-27.
If you are expecting a baby, there are a number of benefit schemes that could help you financially. However, eligibility differs for each individual scheme.
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
You may be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) from your employer. This is a weekly payment, to help make it easier for you to take time off, both before and after the birth of your baby. SMP can be paid for up to 39 weeks.
You are entitled to SMP if you have been employed by the same company for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before your baby is due. You must also be earning an average of at least£87 per week (before tax). The amount you get depends on how much you earn. For 6 weeks, you will receive 90% of your average weekly earnings. Then you will receive£112.75 per week for the remaining 33
Maternity Allowance (A)
Maternity Allowance (MA) 1s available to those who are employed or self-employed but not eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). You may be entitled to Maternity Allowance if you have been employed or self-employed for at least 26 weeks in the
66 weeks before you are due to give birth. You don’t have to work for the same employer for those 26 weeks. You also don’t have to work full weeks (as a part week counts as a full week) during the same period. Maternity Allowance can be paid for up to 39 weeks, and is either paid at the same standard rate as SMP or 90% of your average weekly earnings. You’ll receive whichever amount is the lower. You can find Maternity Allowance forms at antenatal clinics throughout the country.
Child Tax Credit
If you’re on a low income, over 16, and are responsible for at least one child, you may also be entitled to Child Tax Credit. The amount you get will depend on your personal circumstances and income. When your income is being assessed, any child benefit, maintenance payments or Maternity Allowance payments will not be classed as income. This means that it will not be taken into account when calculating your Child Tax Credit.
Sure Start Maternity Payments
If you get benefits or Child Tax Credit because you’re on a low income, then you may be entitled to Sure Start Maternity Payments. These are individual grants to help towards the cost of a new baby.